The finals of the AIB Junior Cup and AIB Cup take place in Athlone this Saturday. We kick off our coverage with a look at one of the two Leinster sides contesting the Junior final – Tullamore RFC.
With a new Taoiseach on the horizon Tullamore will be hoping to open the account for the midlands with a win in the AIB Junior Cup final at Dubarry Park on Saturday (kick-off 1.30pm).
Tullamore PRO Chis Glennon takes us through a brief history of the club.
The present-day Tullamore Rugby Club was founded on April 19, 1937 at a general meeting in Colton’s Hotel, following a match between Derrinturn and a Tullamore side.
Dr. John O’Meara, a local doctor, chaired the meeting that elected Steve Morrison of the Hibernian Bank as captain and P. V. Egan from the well-known firm of P & H Egan Ltd was appointed secretary.
Although Dr. O’Meara chaired the meeting, the first President was Dr. J. M. Prior Kennedy.
Success followed a few years later when the club won its first Provincial Towns Cup in 1946. Current Trustee of the club, Oliver McGlinchey, was a member of the winning side.
Oliver has been a member of the club for seventy years and has held every position in the club. Fourteen years passed before the cup was retained in 1960 and a second team was started in 1950.
A turning point in the club’s history took place in 1974 when Oliver McGlinchey, Denis Magner and John Cahill formed the youths section of the club.
The Tullamore youths have gone on to produce nine youth internationals and win 24 Leinster titles and two All-Ireland Under-16 titles.
1992 will be remembered as a great year in the club’s history when four Leinster titles were won: the 1st XV won the Provincial Towns Plate, the 2nd team claimed the Provincial Cup, the 3rds won the Anderson Cup and the 5th team lifted the Coonan Cup.
Tullamore’s best-known player is Peter Bracken. He played with the Ireland Youths and Ireland Schools teams and went on to win Irish Under-21 and ‘A’ honours as well as tour New Zealand and Australia in 2006 with Eddie O’Sullivan’s senior squad.
Bracken played professionally for Munster, Connacht and London Wasps and is now with Bristol. He is another product of the youths’ system in the club. Two of his younger brothers are in the current 1st team squad.
In fact, there are four sets of brothers in Tullamore’s 25-man 1st team squad.
The club’s firsts has been consistent in the last few years, winning the Provincial Towns Cup in 2006 and finishing second, third and fourth twice in the last four years in the Re/Max Leinster League Division 1.
Kevin Lewis has been their coach for three of those seasons and Nigel Ravenhill is the current club captain.
The club has won the following Leinster titles at adult level:
Provincial Towns Cup – 4 wins
Provincial Towns 2nds Cup – 4 wins
Anderson Cup (3rd XV) – 4 wins
Dunne Cup (4th XV) – 3 wins
Coonan Cup (5th XV) – 3 wins
McGlinchey Cup (5th XV) – 1 win
Provincial Towns Plate – 2 wins
Leinster League Division 2 – 1 win
Provincial 3rd League – 2 wins
Harry Gale Cup (Under-19) – 2 wins
Tullamore have therefore won a total of 50 Leinster titles and two All-Ireland championships to date at adult and youth level.